@MarDixon Passionate about culture internationally. Run remixing events, workshops, create solutions, and an international speaker. Over sharer and Mom who loses arguments to a teen. Projects created: @CultureThemes @lovetheatreday @AskaCurator @MuseumSelfieDay @TeensInMuseums @52museums
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    November 27th, 2018mardixonCulture, International, Personal

    As 2018 is almost over, there have been a few hot topics for museums this year I’d thought I highlight. Now some of these issues have been going on for years/decades but were brought to the limelight again thanks to social media and media being forced to acknowledge the issues. Hopefully, they can be resolved in 2019…

    Museums Need to Change Their Hours

    Once again, there were a few articles related to museums needing to stay open late. We know this. Museums that stay open ‘late’ (and I mean until 8pm on a Thursday) find an impact. Lets face it, when you work 9–5 the last thing you want to do is spend your weekend at a museum or art gallery. Museums run the risk of becoming just for school trips and corporate hire if they are not careful.

    There are some simple solutions such as opening later on a Tuesday (say 11.30 instead of 10) and staying opening until 8pm on a Thursday to help shift the workload for staff.

    It was also mentioned on Twitter that staff has to have their well being looked after and can’t change too much from 9–5 hours. I understand the sentiment there but honestly, every sector has had to change with society to fit in. Even the majority of banks have Saturday hours and one late night.

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/mag3737/6087462178

    Yes there are a lot of late night events but they are usually once a month and run around bigger activities which are great! I absolutely love them. But sometimes, people just want to pop into a museum for a bit of culture on the way home after work. There has to be a better balance than what is available right now. And that is going to be probably more complicated for council-run museums however I truly feel a compromise is out there. Monday closure and late Thursday (as mentioned before) works for some but you need to look at your community/demographic and see if maybe early mornings might be better. Read the rest of this entry »

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    November 19th, 2018mardixonCulture, International, theatre

    As many know, #LoveTheatreDay this year was run without a media partner. I knew the workload was going to be heavy but that people who love theatre would really be running the show…

    And I was right.

    Once again, the hashtag #LoveTheatreDay was world trending by 11 am and remained on the list for 5-6 hours. It stayed top trending in the UK pretty much all day.

    World Trending

    But trending does not matter to me. What does matter is people participating. And they did. From students to professionals, people were very open about sharing why they love theatre. Or Theater. (I noticed that both were being used as was #LoveTheatre #LoveTheatreDay2018 etc).

    Read the rest of this entry »

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    November 12th, 2018mardixonCulture, International, Personal

    I really want to write up about the who conference but this is vital for everyone going to any conference – BE SOCIAL and take a risk to explore new areas! Thank you so much Ann Vanrolleghem for letting me explore @8500Kortrijk

    From Ann:
    I never felt the urge to write a blog post. No, that’s not 100% true. I already felt the urge before, but this time, I feel I really have to do it. I have to write this down. I have to share this. This is my story of how one tweet at a conference can make a difference.

    ***

    Last Friday I attended a conference about participation in Brussels organized by FARO, the Flemish interface centre for cultural heritage. In the afternoon I attended the workshop “yes, you can, participation through social media” by Mar Dixon, a well-known social media star within the cultural world. For us, museum people, she is divine. Trust me. It was an inspirational and hands-on session and I left Brussels to head back home to Kortrijk with great enthusiasm.

    The following morning, I checked Twitter. Part of my morning routine as a social media lover I suppose and there I saw a tweet of Mar Dixon. Saying she wanted to visit some museums and if anyone hanging around #faronet wanted to join her…

    Me, being more impulsive than I thought, replied, saying she should come over to Kortrijk to visit Texture, the museum of flax and river Lys where we have a great temporarily exhibition called BIOLACE. And also to sniff the ambiance of the last weekend of our city festival PLAY. I suggested to come play in confetti…

    And I don’t know if it was the confetti that pulled her over, or that is was something else… but she quickly replied… and in just mere minutes we talked about how she could come to Kortrijk by train and how to organize it all. It was just one tweet that started a rollercoaster of events.

    ***

    In the afternoon Mar arrived by train in Kortrijk. And you are not gonna believe this. But she stepped out of the doors of the train, exactly where I was waiting for her. It was surreal… and that was just the beginning of a great afternoon! Read the rest of this entry »

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    October 26th, 2018mardixonCulture, International, Personal

    Recently I was able to do another whirlwind international tour and something was highlighted once again – people love museums. And people who work in museums love museums.

    So why do you keep working against us?

    The issues are usually very similar:

    • Lack of money
    • Lack of resources
    • Lack of management support
    • Low Morale

    While these issues might possibly always be there, some things you can change to help elevate these issues.

    Lack of money: For argument’s sake, we’ll take money off the table because lets be honest, it’s a common denominator worldwide. If we can sort the other issues, the money issues might actually be less of an issue. Read the rest of this entry »

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    September 16th, 2018mardixonCulture, International, Personal

    During #AskACurator 2018 I tried to capture some of the different conversations.  This is more for me than for anyone to think this is an overall statement of the day (because I am not the one that can or will ever capture everything!)

    Highlights: 

    Museums talking to each – Australia and New Zealand really set the tone for 2018 as there weren’t a lot of questions at first so they took the bull by the horns and starting asking questions amongst themselves – then the public got involved and next thing you know it’s trending 2nd in all of Australia.

    First Tweet from @MOTAT_NZ 9:13pm 11-09-2018

     

    By the time I jumped back Russia and Europe were in full swing (not so much UK at that point) and the tone remain positive, light, inquisitive, fun, interesting and most importantly educational.

    Questions:

    I usually try to ask a few general questions to get things going.  This year they were mostly ignored which to me is AMAZING because that meant there were so many other questions being asked mine weren’t needed!

    https://twitter.com/MarDixon/status/1039646722090303488

    What do you Wear?

    Read the rest of this entry »

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    September 2nd, 2018mardixonCulture, International

    On August 22, @CultureThemes ran #MusMeme for the monthly hashtag.  As I often talk about, finding a hashtag once a month isn’t always easy and there is a balance of finding a hashtag that works with the public and culture venues alike.  For August, I usually try to find a hashtag that will be quirky-ish but light as September is always busy with #AskACurator Day (September 12th 2018)…. did I get that one wrong!

    All I put was:

    Our next CultureThemes is going to be #MusMeme – a day to share memes all about museums, galleries, art, collections, etc. on August 22!

    The general idea is to let the public and museums have a bit of creative license and fun with collections.

    Simple, right? If people got involved, great! If not, that was ok to!

    They got involved.  A LOT.  By 11am it was trending in the UK and pretty much stayed there all day almost into the evening. This screenshot is from 2.30pm

    Read the rest of this entry »

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    July 30th, 2018mardixonCulture, International

    SAVE THE DATE:

    SEPTEMBER 12 2018 FOR OUR NEXT #ASKACURATOR DAY!

    This list will be updated due to GDPR regulations. This is the list of all museums who signed up since 2015 when I started the new sign up.

    SIGN UP FORM

    Please note:  @AskACurator is also on Instagram AND Twitter so feel free to use the tag on there!

    How to take Part: Participants  Want to know how to Take Part? There’s an article for that! (Please note the date has changed!)  Most importantly is just have fun on the day! Ask questions, or if you’re in the field and don’t work in a museum feel free to answer.

    How to take Part: Museums  First, the word museum to me is broad.  Any culture venue who want to take part can! Museums, Archives, Libraries, estate homes, archaeological venues, private museums etc can take part! And Curator can be anyone with the knowledge – they don’t have to have a degree to answer! 

    You might want to tell your followers the time your curator will be available.  Some museums write it on their events page, others leave it open to see what questions they receive.  However, to get your name out there – it helps to jump in to general questions and not just wait to be asked a specific question.  Some people will use the hashtag to ask questions such as how to know what to collect, what skills are needed, what are the unknowns of being a curator etc.  We also have a few #Askacurator people who have questions like ‘do you have a teddy bear in your collection’ or ‘what’s the funniest thing you heard in your museum’ etc.

    Who to Ask: 

    The list for those who signed up can be found via this link (it’s a Google Sheet).  I can email to anyone that needs it or can’t access it.

     


    Just wanted to add that I do not get paid for these hashtags, I love bringing my social media expertise to these days to promote the sector and have fun! I am freelance and a consultant so if you are interested in hiring me please get in touch – I work internationally so there are no boundaries!

    There is more information on the About Me page:
    Email: Mar@MarDixon.com
    Phone: +44 (0)7800 539065
    I’m on WhatsApp, iMessage all social media etc. 
    In addition to many things (speaking at conferences, etc) I run/facilitate day or 1/2 day workshop based on:
    • Remixing Museums
    • New Technology
    • Digital Media
    • Social Media
    • Young People and Museums
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    July 24th, 2018mardixonCulture, International, Personal, Tech

    As Charlotte finally had a summer where she didn’t have to study for anything, we decided a few days in Paris was long overdue. (a huge thanks to Aube and family for letting us stay in the gorgeous flat near Notre Dame!)

    Day One:

    Walking Paris. We had a little idea of what we wanted to do in Paris but seeing Eiffel Tower was of course on the list. As it was so sunny out, and the best way to see any city is to walk, we decided a stroll through Paris would be perfect. And it was even if it was a day with almost 16kms… Seeing all the cute side streets that we would have missed on the bus (or the newest fun mode of transport is the electric scooters) was a bonus.

    Have to say there was a huge difference from the last time we went to see Eiffel Tower as not as many pushy sellers. They also changed the way you access it if you wanted to go up (we’ve been up a few times so just wanted to see it).

    Day Two:

    Another full on day with walking but Charlotte was saved as we had to get back to watch the World Cup. We started at Notre Dame which is free to enter and the queue moves rather quickly.

    We then headed to Saint Chapelle, a Holy Chapel that was intended to house Christian relics including Christ’s crown of thorns. The stained glass have 1,113 scenes from the Old and New Testaments. Read the rest of this entry »

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    June 1st, 2018mardixonCulture, International, Tech

    Lately I’ve been busy talking at conferences about social media and running workshops on the same. Why? Because I think many places have now started to realize giving marketing departments or people full time control over social media wasn’t, in many cases, the best move.

    The most important aspect of social media – no matter what subject – is to be social. Constantly telling people of events and not responding to them, or, perish the thought, actually reaching out to people who are tagging you is all one way, and it gets old. Let’s be honest, there is a lot of content out there that people can be sharing, it’s a buyers’ market for the social media user and we should therefore treat those who do tag us with enough respect to acknowledge them or at least some of them (ok for those who get 1000s of tags it might be hard, but one or two responses a day isn’t difficult). It’s another aspect of customer service, we wouldn’t totally ignore someone who came up to the counter, or visitor information desk would we? Yet we think its ok for those who reach out to us on Social media to be ignored. Read the rest of this entry »

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    May 6th, 2018mardixonCulture, International

    Recently, I seen a post about Murder at the Mütter® from Gillian Ladley Media & Marketing Manager @CollegeofPhys, home of @MutterMuseum pointing to an Instagram Story.  As someone who loves Mütter Museum I was really intrigued.  How could an Instagram Story be integrated in a fun, unique way, participatory way? I clicked on the link and was truly blown away so contacted Gillian and asked her for a bit more information to be able to share.

    Guest Blog Gillian Ladley:

    Murder at the Mütter® (it’s a registered trademark) is an event that we have hosted since 2011. Every year the “Murder team” create a new scenario, collaborating with scientists to include tasks that involve real crime scene and forensic analysis. Tickets to the event are very limited and sell out in minutes, so every year we have discussions about how to expand the reach and impact of the event and all the work that goes into it. We’ve talked about video, web content, digital exhibits etc… but like many nonprofits, struggle to get the time and resources to make something happen. Read the rest of this entry »

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